Five Million Years to Earth (1967)
"Quatermass and the Pit" (original title)

Approved  |   |  Sci-Fi, Horror  |  16 February 1968 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 6,684 users  
Reviews: 130 user | 67 critic

A mysterious artifact is unearthed in London, and famous scientist Bernard Quatermass is called into to divine its origins and explain its strange effects on people.



(original story), (screenplay)
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Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


All Earth Stands Helpless! Spawned in the depths of outer space -- a monster so horrible, so vicious, so incredible -- even when you see it you won't believe it could be! (U.S. poster) See more »


Sci-Fi | Horror


Approved | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

16 February 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Five Million Years to Earth  »

Box Office


£275,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


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User Reviews

A great Hammer film
15 June 2004 | by (London,England) – See all my reviews

A lot of nonsense is written about the significance and meaning and quality of Hammer Films, whereas mostly they were pedestrian and derivative. There were some gems in their output and this film is one of them. The science may be wayward but it unfolds plausibly from the initial discovery of the thing in the pit to mayhem and madness in the streets of London. The opening credits are sparse and it goes straight into the story and never lets up.

It has a clear narrative and each new discovery pushes the envelope of fear and amazement further out. There is no romantic interest (though I must declare the Miss Judd character is pretty darn attractive) to hold up the driving plot. If there is a fault it is that the story can scarcely contain the wealth of material that Nigel Kneale puts in the script. Presumably there isn't a longer director's cut in some film archive!

With limited resources at hand the director, Roy Ward Baker, directs some great scenes, weird and strange and scary. He is served well by the acting of James Donald, Andrew Keir and Barbara Shelley, which is perfect for their roles. As the alien presence become stronger you believe it when it affects the characters. The scene at the pit where Miss Judd has her visions recorded is excellent. The special effects are varied but the green arthropods and the space ship look quite malevolent. The ending is great and somehow disquieting as the closing credits slowly roll.

This is a good example of an interesting intelligent film, costing less than the catering budget of the elephantine mega-budget film we have these days, but much more effective and memorable.

42 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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